R1200GSw LC Wethead Final Drive change and Spline Lube Pictorial!

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by JimVonBaden, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    I've definitely seen worse. If the dealer won't fix it, it is pretty easy to pull by prying on the FD end and popping it out past the internal C-clip. I would use rust converter, avoiding getting too much on the rubber seals to prevent intrusion into the bearings, then a good quality Rustoleum paint. But that is just me. Installation is a bit harder as you have to peel back the forward boot to help get it onto the trans spline. I taped the upper U-joint to stiffen it up. It also helps to remove the lower shock bolt and support he swingarm in a more horizontal position, though you can do it without that.
  2. Blissed

    Blissed Been here awhile

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    Thank you, Jim & others.

    I reviewed the old posts describing how to remove the shaft, but am having difficulty yanking it out. Tried a large screwdriver to lever it out against the swingarm (padded with a piece of wood at the touchpoint) as Jim suggested; even hitting the screwdriver with a hammer. Then, instead of a screwdriver, used the largest box wrench that would slip through the shaft joint; also extended the wrench with a piece of pipe slipped over its free end. No success. The shaft rotates freely and has about 1mm fore and aft play/movement.
    • Is it possible that the front joint or circlip are rusty? Would it help to loosen the front rubber boot and spray some WD40 on the joint?
    • Should I raise the swingarm to make it more level? E.g., by car jack. Right now it's not supported, and slanted downward.
    • I don't have a slip hammer, but how about this: thread a loop of strong webbing through the joint and a 10-20lbs dumbbell, and swift the dumbbell rapidly away in the axis of the shaft, to the similar effect that a slip hammer exerts.
    Interestingly, the maintenance procedure merely states:
    Capture.JPG

    Other ideas, methods? Thanks!
  3. GS Addict

    GS Addict Pepperfool Supporter

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    It takes quite a yank to remove it.
    Try pushing forward first and then a sharp yank back.
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  4. jdub

    jdub Dawg bytes reel gud Supporter

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    Trying to remove by leveraging from the rear with a severe angle on the front U-joint is likely the issue.

    I'd slide the front boot rearward as well as raise the swing arm more level (you'll likely have to do both anyhow to ease installation), then pry gently at the front yoke. Should pop loose of the circlip and slide right off.

    Good luck.
  5. Blissed

    Blissed Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the further suggestions. I thought I'd share my method and experience.

    Using a car jack, I lifted the swingarm by only about 1 inch at its end; then the center stand was lifting off the floor. Loosened the front boot, and the shaft did not look rusty.

    Next, threaded a kevlar climbing cord through the end joint, tied into a loop, and used a 12 lbs dumbbell to swing inside the loop, like using a slide hammer. Kevlar cord is not elastic, so it transfers the impact well. That did the job.


    It took over 10 impacts to completely pull the shaft. I was able to see under the front boot that it was moving back, piece by piece. The increased friction was likely due to the rusted splines and a downward angle of the shaft. I think that had I sprayed the front with WD40 first, it would have gone easier.


    Here is the shaft and the front joint:



    Both the front and rear rubber boots are intact -- no holes or signs of wear. I washed them with soap and warm water, dried, then sprayed & rubbed throughout with 303 Rubber Seal Protectant. Hopefully that may extend their life a bit.

    I brushed and sanded all the surface rust off, and will spray the shaft with CRC Heavy Duty Corrosion Inhibitor, recommended here earlier:
    http://www.crcindustries.com/products/heavy-duty-corrosion-inhibitor-10-wt-oz-06026.html

    For the splines Loctite Moly Paste LOC5104.
  6. Blissed

    Blissed Been here awhile

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    More questions:
    1. Is it necessary to use threadlocker on the paralever bolt (T-50, 56 Nm)? Will medium strength (blue) loctite suffice?
    2. For the front boot, will an ordinary cable tie of approximate width suffice, or is it better to use the BMW one? The ties I have seem a little wider than the original.
  7. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Most of the time they just pop right out, sometimes just dropping the FD will pull it out. Yours is not typical. Glad you got it out though.
  8. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Use medium threadlocker, blue.

    Yes, a ziptie is fine.
  9. jawest79

    jawest79 Adventurer

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    Blissed,
    Can you document with pictures or video of how you reinstalled the FD? I'm about to go through the same process, and a pictorial or video would be immensely helpful. Thanks!
  10. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Did you look at the photos in the first post?
  11. jawest79

    jawest79 Adventurer

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    I did. What I was hoping an inmate would document getting the FD back on the spline and putting the circlip back in place. I've dropped my FD a few times, but I've never completely removed and reinstalled.
  12. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    There is no circlip on the FD. That is on the transmission end of the driveshaft.

    Removing and installing the FD is not much harder than dropping it, but this gives more detail: http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/final-drive-bearing-replacement-07-r1200gsa.682413/
  13. jawest79

    jawest79 Adventurer

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  14. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    OK, yeah, that is a lot of hit and miss. You wont be able to get good photos of the process because it is very tight when you pull back the boot. I used some painters tape on the Ujoint to keep it flat and level, then some string or a screwdriver to guide it in as I push from the back. Once you have the shaft lined up and part way on, you seat the shaft with internal circlip with a few blows from a rubber mallet on the FD end.
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  15. Blissed

    Blissed Been here awhile

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    Thanks! Done.
  16. Blissed

    Blissed Been here awhile

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    As Jim said, there are plenty of photos and descriptions throughout this thread. Here is a bit more about what I have done.

    I sprayed the entire cleaned shaft thoroughly with 3-4 coats of CRC corrosion inhibitor, except for the splines (inserted a swab of fabric inside the splines to keep them clean). Left it dry well overnight, it created a waxy surface.

    Checked that the circlip was properly inserted in the front end of the shaft. Smeared the clean splines on the shaft, engine and final drive with moly paste.

    To prevent the anti-corrosion coating to be scratched off during the installation, I put a stripe of thicker fabric under the shaft, folded over its front end, and secured by rubber band. The fabric stuck to the slightly tacky surface of the shaft, which helped to keep it in place and protected while inserting it through the swing arm. Once through, I removed the front fabric flap to expose the splines.


    Then I practiced mating the front splines without the gaiter first, just a bit. I found I can do this just with my fingers, lifting the front end of the shaft with my fingers and tilting the splines to match.

    Next came on the front gaiter. I sprayed and smeared white lithium grease (http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1443553) on the mating surfaces of the gaiter, engine and swing arm, inserted in place, and slid its front end into position. That left enough room for my fingers to lift the shaft splines and a gentle push from behind had it slip all the way onto the engine side.

    Placed a piece of wood over the rear splines, aligned them in a straight line with the shaft, and a gave it a few, progressively stronger taps with a hammer. That engaged the circlip. I checked by pulling the shaft by hand from behind to make sure it was properly secured. In my case there was a slight back and forth play, maybe 1 mm.

    Then I practiced mating the rear splines, which was easier than the front. Prepared the rear gaiter with the lithium grease, removed the fabric still under the shaft, and installed the gaiter on the final drive.


    Finally, lifted the final drive by right hand, and used my left hand to mate the splines. Had a piece of wood ready to slide under the shaft, to keep it high enough so the splines remain engaged, but leaving room to seat the front end of the gaiter into the swingarm.

    Once everything was in place, I installed the upper swingarm screw, fully seated the front gaiter, and threaded and secured the front gaiter ziptie.

    Filled the final drive with oil, and torqued everything to specs.

    Mentally went through the entire process again to ensure I have not missed anything. Had the torque values printed out as I worked.

    Thanks to all previous posters for sharing their experiences! They proved to be very helpful.
  17. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Well done and documented! :thumb
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  18. Ricky Scotland

    Ricky Scotland Adventurer

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    Hi all, I have read this thread through with keen interest as I have an issue with my 2017 GS. It has done about 7500 miles ....all on road and is now 12 months old. About 300 miles ago I started to become aware of a rather nasty vibration through the footpegs. This was most obvious between 3000 and 4500 rpm. It also felt that it was more obvious when under drive rather than coasting. I also noted that when on the centre stand...if you rotated the back wheel forwards there was what I describe as a regular soft nocking sound....if rotated backwards it is totally smooth. I took the bike into bmw dealer and they inspected and said the final drive splines had "gone dry". They lubed them up and said I was good to go. I did pointedly ask if this had caused any damage or if there were any safety implications and they were confident there wasn't. So I ride home and the vibrations are definately a lot less. When I get home i check the rotation on the centre stand and it still has the knocking noise. I noted that the noise only happens when the bike has been run and is hot, not when flat cold before being run. Is it normal for the drive to make a soft knocking noise when hot and on the centre stand? Should I get Bmw to reinspect or am I being overly worried?
  19. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Are you manually rotating the wheel? It should be smooth in the drive direction once you take up the slack. Typically any vibration is either in the U-joints or the final drive. On the Wethead the U-joints are more often the issue than the final drive by a high percentage.
  20. Ricky Scotland

    Ricky Scotland Adventurer

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    Hi Jim, thanks for the quick reply....yes I am just manually rotating the wheel. Is it usual that you may not get the noise when the drive is cold but it appears when it is warmed up after riding?